Dear Straight People,
Meet 27-year old Taiwanese Whyan Chen, a popular dancer and choreographer who has worked alongside Mandopop diva Jolin Tsai!
No stranger to the limelight, Whyan is best known for competing in the Chinese edition of the hit reality show So You Think You Can Dance in 2014. As a founding member of the popular gender bending Taiwanese dance crew Ethereal, Whyan has amassed a formidable online following.
With over 100,000 followers across Facebook and Instagram, Whyan is easily one of the most prolific gay influencers in the world. But while many may know of him, not many know his story.
Born in Taipei, Whyan didn’t experience any same-sex attraction till he was in his late teens. Throughout his early teen years, Whyan had a string of heterosexual romances. Although he has had 7 ex-girlfriends before, Whyan never got intimate with any of them.
It wasn’t till Whyan turned 16 did his curiosity in the same sex start to manifest. But he didn’t act on his gay inclinations till a senior asked him out when Whyan was 18.
One day, one of my schoolmates asked me ” Hey , do you want to try dating me? ”
I decided to give him a chance since there was no harm trying. So he became my first sexual experience in my life haha
His first gay relationship lasted 3 years. And it helped him realise that he was indeed gay despite his past relations with women.
Everything felt just so damn right.
I felt like I can never go back to be with girls anymore.
While Whyan had little trouble accepting his sexuality, the same can’t be said of his mum. When Whyan was still attached to his first boyfriend, his mum was rummaging through his bag when she stumbled upon a picture of them kissing.
My mum went crazy. She cried a lot.
It took her almost one year to get over it.
A professional dancer and occasional model, Whyan’s affinity with the stage started when he was just 15.
His performing talents have taken him to parties and events across the world, most notably as part of the gender bending dance crew ‘Ethereal’. Formed in 2012, ‘Ethereal’ is a 12-man dance crew renowned for performing in high heels.
In the beginning, it was just 6 of us who loved to dance. Back then, high heels were the trend so we decided to start a crew.
His career highlight however, has got to be his stint as a back-up dancer for Mandopop superstar Jolin Tsai’s 2011 world tour as well as his appearances in her music videos.
He also famously appeared in the 2014 Chinese edition of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, where he forfeited the chance to advance further during the revival round despite earning votes from judges like Aaron Kwok.
Currently based in Beijing with plans to move to Shanghai soon, Whyan candidly reveals to us that he doesn’t really have a type when it comes to men.
I don’t have a certain type , it’s all about feeling for me.
I know we all look for face and body too but I dated some guys before who have a good heart but are not in good shape haha.
Check out the Q&A section below to find out more about Whyan Chen!
1. Did you face any difficulties growing up gay in Taiwan?
I have quite a forceful personality and I always fight back so no one dared to bully me.
When people talk shit about me, my bitchy personality will show off lol.
2. How did you family respond to your sexuality?
My mum and sister are now ok with it. I introduced my ex-boyfriends to them before and they are cool with it.
My second ex-boyfriend still keeps in touch with my mama sometimes. He would send her postcards etc.
3. What’s something about you people would find surprising?
It’s not easy for me to make friends because people think I’m cold.
My ma gave me a cold face when I’m not smiling.
[Editor’s note: Whyan is actually one of the friendliest interviewees we’ve had so far]
4. What is your advice for gay men still in the closet?
Tell when you are ready.
If your family can’t take it, don’t do stupid things. Be positive and hang with your friends. That was how I got through it.
5. What do you think is the biggest misconception straight people have about the gay community?
They always think we want to suck their dick… Come on, it’s the 21st century already, stop being ignorant.
6. Do you think Taiwan will legalise gay marriage in the near future?
I hope so. Love is love regardless of someone’s sexuality!
Once again, Dear Straight People would like to thank Whyan Chen for sharing his story with us.
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